Finished product and proud of it!
Last month, a new donor redeemed a gift card on Global Giving to help the Learning Center projects. This donation could not have come at a better time. The women in Nicaragua are eager to increase their skill sets, and having the appropriate materials is a huge variable in trying to keep up with the growing class sizes and growing levels of interest. The photos we are sharing in this report illustrate the beautiful bags being made by the women and how they feel about this new knowledge they are aquiring. W/NP Volunteer teacher Petronila started with eight students, the number went up to ten, then 16 and now 20 are in the bag making class. She comments, “As a teacher of the bag making class, I think the class is important for the knowledge one gets and to be able to help other women who can market and sell this product in their communities and also on the internet. For me it’s important because I continue to gather experience and also doing volunteer work.”
In-kind donations of sewing machines, scissors, fabric and other notions are sent in shipments to Nicaragua that help support the classes. Mirna commented, “Notice the different colors of leather pieces on the bottom of the bags. Those pieces came in the last shipment and are being very useful. In order to combine the leather with other material, we need the kind of material (multicolor) you see on some bags. Petronila found a store at the market and we were wondering if it was possible to buy some of that (material) with the donation you mentioned we had available for the Learning Center Project?” Absolutely, that is exactly what the donations are for, to help support the Learning Center Projects.
We wanted to hear from the women (students), why they are taking the bag making class? Carmen replied, “To learn a little more and help her other students who come to the Learning Centers to increase their incomes in the house.” Ana said, “I think it’s a very good class because it helps me to continue learning more and also it’s a way to get incomes for the family.” Elizabeth shared, “I chose the bag class because I always wanted to learn how to make them and since the opportunity was given, I took it right away and this will allow me to make my own bags.” Dora felt, “The class keeps me out of stress, keeps my mind busy, one can let his/her imagination fly as far as styles, fabric used and accessories. Also because I learn about what machines are appropriate with the types of fabric we use and overall is an interesting class.”
The Learning Center Project continues to be of great interest and Mirna who has observed the project for about 15 years commented, “The interest of women over the bag making class is growing and growing incredibly. Women believe in the concept of learning, sharing and teaching to the other as opportunities are presented to pass on the knowledge. Self- improvement for a better life is what keeps them going by just learning simply techniques such as bag making.”
The women also shared with us why they value the class. Carmen said, “It is a very important class especially because the organization has given us support not only with materials but with education.” Ana replied, “Because I learn, share and offer different opportunities to other women who also want to learn. It’s important also because we get helped with the materials needed for the class.” Elizabeth shared, “I value the class because it’s interesting and every day I take the class, I learn more on new techniques on how we can vary the styles. I also value the class because of the patience of the teacher to share her knowledge and the time devoted to the group who is learning. I hope she continues to have that enthusiasm to teach others.”
Dora’s comment perhaps sums up what most of the women are feeling as they desire to improve their quality of life, “The class is valuable because it can teach me how to become an entrepreneur to generate incomes.”
Thank you to all the people who have helped the Learning Center Project to continue, and to all those who will help in the future. Making an investment in another person’s life has significant results that can last beyond a lifetime.
Teacher Petronila demonstrating the techniques
Very colorful bags, each is unique!